Ukrainian doctors visit primary school amid mounting tensions

Ukrainian doctors visit primary school amid mounting tensions

Two dozen doctors from a mobile medical brigade, visiting children in rural Ukraine, shuffled out of a bus parked next to the brick walls of a primary school.

In a well-rehearsed choreography led by doctor Olga Medvedeva, they set up equipment across the school in the village of Myrne, while singer Sofia Yegorova distracted the children before their medical check-up.

In many parts of Ukraine, access to specialist medical care is difficult due to the overstretched healthcare system, which is now grappling with the devastating effects of Russia's war.

The stress of stress is already taking a toll on children's mental and physical health, which is being worsened by a lack of access to care, the doctor's brigade at Okhmatdyt Children's Hospital said.

The head of a paediatrics department in Okhmatdyt, Medvedeva, 63, told AFP.

Since May 2022, Medvedeva's brigade has carried out more than 60 missions, just days after Ukrainian forces pushed Russian troops back from the area.

It has travelled both to de-occupied territories and areas that were relatively spared from Russia's assault when the troops arrived, such as Myrne, about 40 kilometres from the capital, Kyiv.

It's like a trigger, she said.

Several parents said that seeing specialized doctors was difficult, partly because of staff shortages in some hospitals, but also because of an influx of internally displaced people.

And some of the families who used to go to the capital's medical centres were discouraged by the threat of air raids.

Many parents were queueing outside their classrooms, leaning against the corridor's peach-colored walls, to visit the doctors who made the trip.

Afterwards, children played on hopscotch patterns painted on the ground or coloured in drawings.

Among her parents was Lyudmyla Lokha, 46, and her seven-year-old son Timofey.

Lokha said her son stopped eating well when the family fled to Portugal at the beginning of the invasion.

She recommends that parents answer their child's questions about the invasion.

Milana buries her face in his chest when her grandfather Sergiy Vida speaks about the war.

'It's good that all is good with us. ' Vida, who lives with his granddaughter, said he held his granddaughter closer to him.

She said all these issues will be seen by the end of the week.